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Myla Goldberg: Sorry, Muse, No Candles for You

Myla Goldberg is the author of the novels Bee Season (that's spelling bees, not stinging bees) and Wickett's Remedy (about the 1918 flu epidemic). Her short stories have appeared in the anthology, Virgin Fiction, as well as in the literary journals Eclectic Literary Forum and American Writing. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.

How She Writes: "I don't have any odd rituals -- no candles to light, no offerings to the Muse. I simply write Monday through Friday for between 6 and 8 hours like any other working stiff."

Fights Writer's Block: "Mostly through denial. I make myself sit down at the keyboard no matter what, no matter how terrible I feel the writing is going or how little I may be in the mood. If things are really, really bad, I give myself a day off to eavesdrop in cafes or go to a matinee or a museum or something. A day spent in the city tends to have incredible rejuvenating powers -- either that or the guilt of a day spent not writing sends me back to my desk feeling ready and willing again."

A Favorite Sentence: "The following are the last sentences of a story I wrote in fourth grade that was from the point of view of a guppy: 'Help! I'm being sucked into the air filter! I can't...'"

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Melody Joy Kramer
Marc Silver
Marc Silver, who edits NPR's global health blog, has been a reporter and editor for the Baltimore Jewish Times, U.S. News & World Report and National Geographic. He is the author of Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) During Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond and co-author, with his daughter, Maya Silver, of My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks: Real-Life Advice From Real-Life Teens. The NPR story he co-wrote with Rebecca Davis and Viola Kosome -- 'No Sex For Fish' — won a Sigma Delta Chi award for online reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists.